Kudu hunting is nearly always the first trophy for a hunting safari in Africa. Indigenous to the Eastern Cape South Africa, kudu occurs in significant numbers.
Table of Contents
- Kudu Hunting Cost
- Interesting Facts about Kudu
- Difference between Male and Female
- About the Kudu
- Kudu Hunting in the Eastern Cape
- Trophy Judgement and Rifle Calibre
Kudu Hunting Cost
The average cost of a Kudu is $1800. A plains game package hunt often includes a Kudu Trophy.
All-Inclusive $4500 Starter Plains Game Package for 7 trophies and 8 days hunting. (Inclusive of a Kudu Trophy)
- Mountain Reedbuck
The Kudu in Pictures
Interesting Facts About Kudu
- The kudu or ‘koodoo’ is the Khoisan name given to this antelope.
- The kudu can jump six-foot-high fences from a standing position, and when fleeing from danger, they can clear obstacles as high as 10 feet.
- When two kudu bulls are equally matched a fight may ensue.
- Fights would take the form of lunging, horn clashes, and wrestling with locked horns, and the latter may result in the death of both animals when their horns become locked together in the battle.
- There are twice as many adult female kudu than there are males.
- This is due to greater predation of the bulls and deaths at the end of the breeding season caused by exhaustion, malnutrition, and injury.
- If a kudu is frightened by a predator or during kudu hunting, breaking cover, it will run and then turn to see the threat and freeze, allowing its camouflage to take effect.
- Although kudu bulls become sexually mature at three years old, they can’t compete with the older males to access the females until they are 6 to 8 years old.
- Kudu is notoriously alert and hard to approach and can point ears individually in different directions to help detect threats that may be nearby.
- Some plants, notably acacias, will increase the amount of bitter-tasting tannin in their leaves within 15 minutes of when animals browse them, resulting in kudu moving on to the next plant after only a short time.
- Kudu give a hoarse alarm bark when they flee.
- The Eastern Cape Kudu is considered a subspecies of the Greater Kudu.
Difference Between Male and Female
The difference between a male and female kudu is that the female does not have horns and is smaller and lighter than the male with very prominent ears. Also, they have no beard or nose markings.
About the Kudu
Like many other antelope, male kudu can be found in bachelor groups, but they are more likely to be solitary.
Wounded bulls, on infrequent occasions, have been known to charge the attacker. They hit the attacker with their sturdy horn base rather than stabbing it.
Wounded Kudu can keep running for many miles without stopping or resting.
Kudu bulls are much larger than females.
The bulls also have large manes running along the underside of their necks. The horns, were they straightened, would reach an average length of 45 inches.
The kudu is a browser and feeds on various leaves of trees and shrubs indigenous to South Africa.
They also seasonal feeders and feed on various fruits, pods, and creepers during different seasons and succulents such as spekboom or bacon tree and aloes.
New-born calves aged 4-6 weeks old are hidden away and nursed by their mothers, who visit them for nursing.
Kudu usually is active in the morning and late afternoon. In developed habitats or under pressure from hunting, kudu has evolved to become nocturnal to avoid humans.
Kudu Hunting in the Eastern Cape
Your Eastern Cape kudu bull trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 54 inches, weigh about 340 pounds, and have a Horn Length of approximately 43 – 47 inches.
The minimum score under Safari Club International for an Eastern Cape kudu is 98. Add the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases to get your score SCI score.
Kudu is always one of the first animals on any hunter’s list. A genuinely graceful and beautiful trophy.
Bulls can be tough to hunt throughout the year. Be prepared for long stalks and plenty of failed stalks.
Kudu have fantastic eyesight, and the nickname “Grey Ghost” is for a good reason; a kudu can vanish into thin air.
It’s rare for a hunter to shoot a kudu on the first stalk. You may well have to take a more extended shot to get your trophy kudu.
Kudu is indigenous to the Eastern Cape South Africa and occurs in significant numbers.
The kudu tends to browse in the early morning and late afternoon, usually resting during the heat of the day.
Like many antelope species, these majestic animals form family groups of approximately ten individuals, mostly cows, and calves, as well as young bulls.
The mature bulls only join the herd during the mating season. Kudu hunting often involves stalking a lone bull.
Trophy Judgement and Rifle Calibre
Kudu Hunting Rifle Calibre
Hunting kudu with less than 7mm would not be recommended.
For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of bringing a rifle into South Africa, Nick Bowker Hunting has available a Sako carbon light 300 Winchester Magnum fitted with a suppressor.
Mounted on the rifle is a Swarovski DS with a built-in rangefinder.
We have hand loaded Hornady ELD-X 200 grain ammunition. The rifle, including ammunition, is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.
As with most African animals, shot placement should always be in the bottom third of the shoulder.
The Eastern Cape Kudu has smaller horns than their cousin, the Southern Greater Kudu.
The minimum SCI score for a Southern Greater Kudu is 121.
Kudu Hunting Trophy Judgement
Southern Greater Kudu is available in fenced areas in the Eastern Cape but costs substantially more.
Eastern Cape Kudu boasts a much darker coat than that of its cousin, the Southern Greater Kudu, and at times the males will carry an imposing, impressive beard running down the front of the neck.
From late March to June or even July, bulls will lose fear for open country and travel great distances searching for females during the rut.
Judging the trophy quality of kudu bulls can be very difficult at times. Always ensure the shapes of the horns are wide and symmetrical with white tips.
Consider the depth of the curls as this is where the real hidden length lies. Any mature bull is an impressive trophy and the pride of many kudu hunters around the world.
Smithers, RHN, 1983. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion, 1st edition. University of Pretoria, CTP
Focus on the Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), Deon Furstenburg, GEO WILD Consult (Pty) Ltd.
Deon Furstenburg – Focus on the Kudu
Smithers RHN – The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion
Seaworld – Animal Facts
Safari bookings – Greater Kudu Facts
African Skye Hunting – Africa Destinations
African Wildlife Foundation – Wildlife Conservation Kudu
Kruger National Park – The Kudu